The Duluth Model of Domestic Violence has been upheld as the virtual bible on domestic violence and the remedies that our government applies to the problem. It calls for measures that disenfranchise and exclude men entirely from any alternatives to assist in conflict resolution. It does not foster any social or institutional method or mechanism for a man to exit a marriage or its dysfunctional setting in a peaceful manner. It is for this reason that I personally hold extreme contempt for the judicial system, family law and the politicians and bureaucrats that have sanctioned these measures.
[box type=”download” icon=”none”]The Duluth Model and its interpretation by the idiot savants trying to save us “argued for practices that would hold offenders accountable and place the onus of intervention on the community, not on the individual woman being beaten.”[/box]
Makes sense right? Up until you institutionalize the process of assumption and ignore the default mechanisms outcome. If you as a man solicit help from any quarter; doctor, councilor, police, hospital, it is defined by The Duluth Model as an attempt to bully your partner institutionally. What that translates to for men is the inability to seek assistance in stopping conflict. If you do you are a bully attempting to use the “system” against your partner.
The Duluth Model does not support reconciliation and identifies it as part of the cycle of violence. As a man I support this, and do not believe that reconciliation after violence is possible, but for a different reason. My reason is simply that if a woman misrepresents or exaggerates the circumstances, reconciliation threatens the same outcome of false accusations. Let’s be clear, we now define violence as an intimidating look. Even a look of disbelief can serve the purpose and violence, and disbelief is always a response to the inability to resolve conflict.
[quote float=”left”]If I am a man that can determine that my relationship is unhealthy and wish to opt out, how do I avoid the warfare that the system and its institutions impose on me?[/quote] Most people realize the process of conflict and many simply do not wish to participate. Behaviors that contribute are usually learned by both parties, thus reconciliation is pointless and educating men only serves half the problem. What has never been considered in the Duluth Model is the violence of women, the impact of it on men and providing an alternative institutional mechanism for men to opt out of a violent relationship but maintain their relationships with their children. In other words, men have no viable option to “end the cycle of violence.” This single mechanism could answer the need for DV shelters for men and obviously reduce the number needed for women to a fraction of what currently exists.
If I am a man that can determine that my relationship is unhealthy and wish to opt out, how do I avoid the warfare that the system and its institutions impose on me? If I am a man that does not feel obliged to “work it out,” if incompatibility is the obvious undertone of communicating, how can I leave? If I am a man who is committed to my children, but no longer to my partner and the hostility she represents, how can I maintain my commitment in a free and healthy way?
The simple answer is that I can’t. The Duluth Model community does not afford me the ability to stop the hostility and vitriol; not at any point in the process, not before during or after the discord. In fact “The Duluth Model of Domestic Violence,” promotes violence and ultimately engulfs the whole families in it.
If I wish to acquiesce, to simply agree to disagree and accept the dissolution of intimacy, to move on and maintain a relationship with my children, I can’t. I can’t because there is no institution that will support this outcome. There is no institution that supports equal and shared custody, which is all I and millions of men wish for. If we as men ever achieve this single proposition I have no doubt that you will see a marital exodus that will make women’s desire for divorce pale by comparison. If shared custody was offered as a one day special, I have no doubt that millions of men would opt for sanity.
The sad truth is that domestic violence is promoted by the very people that engorge themselves on the dollars of your misfortune. The lawyers, councilors, bureaucrats, police, politicians and the wives have a vested interest in your wallet. They are the true scum of Domestic Violence.
If this single proposition was implemented, it would quite likely save many families from dissolution. If we remove the “I win you lose” equation in divorce, what point does violence of any kind really have? It may even put some meaning into no fault divorce if a man could simple opt out of the battle and focus his energies on healthier issues. I for one would no longer have to play therapist to someone that refuses to respect my autonomy and individuality. For my part I would have left my first marriage after the first five years if I was assured that my relationship with my children would endure. Instead I suffered an additional 15 years of unnecessary conflict that spilled onto my children.
In a letter to my estranged daughter from my first marriage I penned the following, but never sent it.
“I have no animosity for your mother, but because we do not share beliefs and ideals, I do not trust your mother to honor or respect mine. This makes for an unworkable marriage that has held this status for many years. It does not however remove potential friendship. Friendship can exist with simple respect, and requires no coercion of purpose or manipulation. The best thing about friendships is individuals are responsible for their own happiness. Emotional accusations, alienation and dysfunction can be answered by simply withdrawing for a cooling period and limiting contact. Relationships do not have to be self-serving, miserable, oppressive and abusive. Friendship is a better approach to removing these elements.”
This however is not the outcome that our institutions support or even recognize as a possible outcome to conflict. If men had an institutional mechanism to protect their interests, other than intimidation, coercion and violence, why would they bother with the latter? The real question is to men and should be asked. If you had an alternative to conflict that would maintain your relationship with your children and protect you from the process of violence would you take it? Is the violence really worth it? What the Duluth Model fails to address is the ability to exploit the assumptions that it makes. Men as citizens are entitled to equal protection under the law. Without it they are entitled and responsible to seek redress of their burdens or remove the institutions that inflict suffering upon them.
The truth is our institutions serve men up like negotiable real estate in which any woman can plant a flag and drain his resource. It is a system of entitlement that serves women and disenfranchises men. I see no reason for perpetuating the violence, the conflict and the commitment to it. The Duluth Model of domestic violence is based solely on assumption and disregards the male experience in marriage and handily ignores a man’s interests in the well-being of his children and his relationship them. It is a collection of female relationship assumptions that act only to serve her interests and establishes guilt as the only viable method to resolving conflict.
Recently I again reviewed the video on The Duluth Model of Domestic Violence my attention was drawn to one of the primary authors of the Duluth model, Ellen Pence. Common in our language of an evil Patriarchy is the power and control that men exercise over women. In this context it is uncommon to question the motivation and intention of this power and control. Most assume that it is a form of male privilege, an exercise of male rights that is obligatory for women to submit to. Lady you can have the Patriarchy, just give me shared custody of my kids and nobody needs to get hurt.
What was interesting in viewing the video is Pence herself suggests that in discussing with women their experience with batterers, it was concluded that male behavior represented a system. The women did not state that men were trying to gain all the power but rather, ended up with all the power. She interpreted this as a desire by men to have all the power but could not corroborate her belief even after exploring this in the men’s groups she attended.
She then reformed her belief from a “desire” to an entitlement or privilege, but did not qualify why she supported this belief. Rather she compared it to a form of racial entitlement, in which expectations and entitlements are engaged but not for the purpose of dominating. It is clear that this system is outdated, dishonest and no longer socially viable. It is time for the experience of men to be part of the equation and time for the female narrative describing men’s experience to stop..
I would agree, male behavior does represent a system, that system includes male powerlessness, responsibility, accountability and disposability that his partner will never experience. It escapes the imagination of women that circumventing the “male system of behavior” could easily be achieved by implementing options up front rather than retribution after the fact. PMS, see ya. Don’t like the drapes, see ya. I need to work more hours so you can stay at home, see ya. I don’t understand your feelings, maybe your right, see ya. But alas this may remove the right of deed and the entitlement and privilege to her property and we can’t have that. Gee ladies is this what you really meant by the definition of chattel and objectification.
It is certainly time to question the institutions that prey on men and the potentials and freedoms that are so quickly and easily removed from them.
Is Feminism monolithic? The feminists say no so why can’t we just agree to disagree and I’ll get on with my life and you can get on with yours, why can’t I just opt out? But that would remove the poaching and pick pockets.
Is gender a social construct? The feminists say yes, so what the fuck is the big deal about motherhood, it’s obviously just another construct not worth perpetuating, let’s get rid of it. But that would remove the poaching, the pick pockets and the privilege.
Maybe it’s time to realize and embrace the understanding that entitled governors, congressmen, senators and presidents lack the courage to face the problems confronting men. These are not leaders, if anything they are simply poor managers that can’t even be trusted with our taxes and money, let alone our children. One sure way to end domestic violence completely and forever is to give men an option to exit with shared custody of their children. At that point violence is redundant. I believe it’s time for a referendum of the people, clearly our institutions are unwilling, incapable and incompetent in these matters.